Postal Service sets military holiday mail deadlines

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The U.S. Postal Service says that mail for U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan should be sent by Dec. 4 for arrival by Christmas.

Holiday mail going to other military overseas APO/FPO locations should be sent by Dec. 11.  

Except for military mail going to Iraq and Afghanistan (APO/FPO AE ZIP 093), Express Mail also can be used to mail packages to overseas military locations until Dec. 18 for delivery by Christmas.

The deadlines for regular mail, holiday cards, letters and packages going to U.S. destinations is Dec 21 for delivery by Christmas. Using Express Mail, packages sent to certain U.S. locations can be mailed as late as Dec. 23.

Mail sent to overseas military addresses is charged at domestic mail prices. Flat-Rate Priority Mail boxes offer the best value for holiday package shipping. Customers can use Priority Mail Flat-Rate boxes to ship anywhere in the United States, or to U.S. troops overseas. The contents for Priority Mail Flat-Rate boxes can be any weight. If it fits, it ships.

The domestic mail price for the Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box is $13.95, but for packages sent to military APO/FPO addresses overseas the price is only $11.95. Additional discounts are available for customers printing their Priority Mail postage labels online at

The Postal Service also is offering free Military Care Kits, designed for military families sending packages overseas. The mailing kits can be ordered by calling (800) 610-8734 and asking for the Military Care Kit. Each kit includes two “America Supports You” large Priority Mail Flat-Rate boxes, four medium-sized Priority Mail Flat-Rate boxes, six Priority Mail labels, one roll of Priority Mail tape and six customs forms with envelopes.